Cpt. Jimmy Williams, the communications chief for Oconee’s E-911, believes the qualities of a good judge are the same principles that make for a good law-enforcement officer. 

“It takes someone who is fair, honest and willing to listen to both sides of the story,” he said. 

After a career in law enforcement, Williams is running for Oconee County Probate Court judge. He will be running against Oconee Courthouse Security Supervisor Lt. George Roberts and Athens-Clarke County Police Department Deputy Chief Mike Hunsinger. The incumbent judge, David Anglin, has not yet announced plans to run. 

As a nonpartisan race, the outcome will be decided in the May 19, 2020 general primary, or a runoff election the following month. 

One of the roles of the Probate Court is to determine adult guardianships and conservatorships. Williams said his work with Project Lifesaver, a program advocated by the Pilot Club that provides location transmitters to adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Just last week, Williams and Cpt. James Hale were instructors at a Pilot Club meeting. 

Williams began his law-enforcement career in 1988 with the Clarke County Police Department. When the Athens and Clarke County police departments unified in 1991, he was assigned to the Special Operations Unit. In 1998, he was named Community Orientated Policing Officer of the Year for his work in solving 12 church burglaries in Northeast Georgia.

Williams left the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in 2000 and became the chief investigator for the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office, where he also served as assistant director of E-911. 

Williams impressed Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry, who called him in December 2002 and asked if he could start the next day. In Oconee, Williams was tasked with bringing the communications section in compliance with state and federal law. He took the unit from paper and pencil into the digital age with the implementation of a new Computer Aided Dispatch System. He handled budgets, applied for a grant that 

secured $2.5 million for a new radio system and oversaw a children’s education program. 

In 2013, Williams was named Communications Director of the Year by the Georgia Emergency Communications Conference. 

He is the treasurer of the Federal Communications Commission Region 10, the vice chair of the Oconee Area-wide Radio System, the past president of the Georgia Chapter of Association of Public Communications Officials and a representative of the Georgia Department of Homeland Security/All Hazards Council.

For more on this story, see the May 16 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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